Letters, March 1: “A Little Snark”
Just to refute Jay Winton's letter: [Santa Fe Police Officers Association President Troy] Baker's published comments were not "snarky"—defined as "irritating, annoying" (Webster) or as a combination of SNide and sARCastic (sn-arc). They were vile, bigoted, racist and un-American ("All Lives Splatter," suggesting violence against protesters—from a policeman?!) Trumpist propaganda. Baker calls immigrants "inbred savages." Let's not forget that the word "savage" was chiseled out of the obelisk on the Plaza as a totally unacceptable slur against Native Americans. Baker and Winton unfortunately represent the kind of blind hatred this wonderful city has chosen to leave behind.
News, March 1: “Killing Wily”
I’m with the Ban
Since the millennium, vast amounts of technology have been developed for killing coyotes and other wildlife including GPS, cameras, off-road vehicles, scopes and weapons. New Mexico has about 25-30 contests a year. The contests are often statewide. In some contests, hundreds of coyotes are killed.
What effect do repeated random contests have on coyote genetics, migration, morbidity and mortality? Anecdotally, some of us living in rural areas or recreating on public lands are seeing and hearing fewer coyotes. Long-term studies using 21st-century methods are needed to understand fully the factors—including conflict with humans—that regulate coyote populations. Without those studies, there is no reasonable basis for the conclusion that coyote populations are somehow immune to the effects of coyote killing contests. It also follows that coyote killing contests do not constitute science-based wildlife management.
Those of us who support a ban on coyote killing contests may not all agree on coyote population growth trends. But we all support SB 268, a bill to ban coyote killing contests. We hope the bill passes and is signed by the governor.
Ranchers are among the least-scientifically oriented, poorest-informed, and hunter- rabid demographics in North America. When they state that they need to have any type of organized slaughter of a wildlife form, you can bet that their statistics are made up of personal anecdotes and profit- driven motives rather than actual science. The coyote population has been dying off for years due to several other human factors that adversely impact their food supply and habitat. They are not the rampant threat people make them out to be. Coyote-killing contests remain because of profit—pure and simple—and legislators' never-ending capacity to be misled by special interest groups.
News, March 8: “Going Greener”
I recycled all my glass for years by saving it in containers and dragging it all to the dump. It was a big nuisance but I felt it was the proper thing to do. Then we bought pick-up service—going to the dump was getting to be too much for us. It's great to have the paper, plastic and cans recycled, but I was disappointed they won't take the glass. It's all going into my regular trash now. If you can't be bothered to work out a better solution, I can't be bothered to go out of my way anymore either.
The Enthusiast, March 8: “Can We Hang?”
It would be great to have this in Santa Fe, but our governor would veto it!
Cover, March 8: “Throwing Away the Key”
I was shocked to see the photo of my old friend, OC Fero, in the Reporter and learn that he is still imprisoned after 32 years. I have taught prisoners meditation for 16 years, and OC regularly attended my classes at the Santa Rosa facility. He had just [been] ordained as a priest and a kinder, gentler man you will not meet. His one crime was unquestionably horrific, but his rehabilitation has been complete and his prison record unblemished.
As your article describes, "lifers" are entitled to parole after 30 years [if] they maintain a clean record inside and no longer threaten society. Yet, the chair of the New Mexico Parole Board typically discounts rehabilitation, downplaying the positive aspects of a prisoner's record and stacking the board with those opposed to release.
"Life means life," she says, denying inmates their basic right to see the error of their ways and be released back into society—a barbaric position by any standard, especially given the fact that only 3 percent of those paroled over 55 ever reoffend.
I urge one and all to insist that Gov. Martinez sign Senator O'Neill's SB 216, to insure that the parole process both reasonable and humane.
Step Down, Sandy
[For Parole Board Chief Sandy Dietz] to be "philosophically disinclined to release those sentenced for the state's most serious crimes" should be a reason to recuse herself or remove herself from the board. There will be other cases where she will be disinclined to release them and that defeats the purpose of justice, equality and equity of restitution and rehabilitation, fairness to life itself and only means that others on the board must find the courage to override her own distaste for releasing criminals who have earned a chance in life to be released through the positive promotion of good will, good faith and good standings within the code of conduct of the golden rule.
I am not advocating we forget about the act, the victim or the victim's family. ... Dietz needs to get over her "hang-up" and accept the fact that people who have done wrong can reverse their character and become better citizens again if given the opportunity to do so.
When fairness is removed from the decision-making, no matter how much the prisoner improves their lives while incarcerated, the message is: Why do it? It really doesn't matter because the board will just say no. That was not the intent nor the spirit of this law that allows the board to review parole releases. Dietz needs to get over her judgmental views and become a fair member of the board and be open-minded and fair with her decisions. Anything else is an abuse of power.
Mail letters to PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver to 132 E Marcy St., or email them to email@example.com. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to speciﬁc articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.